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Autoimmune diseases and electronic cigarettes.

Discussion in 'Health, Safety and Vaping' started by RoseB, Nov 29, 2012.

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  1. RoseB

    RoseB Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 3, 2012
    Been wanting to do a thread about this for a while. Oh where do I start? I've got crohn's disease. Have been in an awful flare for about a month now. Ended up in the hospital tonight bah. Anyways when I try quitting all nicotine my guts just can't take it. My e cig has been wonderful even the crappy ones. With a weak immune system I always spent the winters with lung infections ect. Since there really hasn't been much in the way of studdies on e cigs I want to please hear from other folks who have autoimmune diseases. Has vapor been better on you since going to e cigs?
  2. mitsuhashi

    mitsuhashi Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 2, 2012
    an island
    Argh, sorry, I'm not so knowledgeable about these things.

    But do you know about the antiseptic properties of PG? I've read somewhere a few months ago that scientists in the U.S. did a long-term study on the health effects of inhaling PG vapors on some orphanage, I think it was. This was back in WWI or WWII. The control group of kids breathed in regular air, while the test subjects were secretly bombarded with PG vapor. Some time passed, and they found that hardly any of the kids who were inhaling PG were getting the flu, while the control group of kids were getting it all the time.

    I guess nobody knows the true effects of our e-cig vapors as a mix between water, PG, VG, nic, and flavors, but speaking for myself, I've not noticed any increase or decrease in sickness (I don't have autoimmune diseases, though). I've gotten the flu just once over the past year that I've been a regular vaper, which isn't too far from the rate I got them as a smoker. At least that's the rate I've been catching it after quitting teaching. Those cute buggers used to give me tons of germs, lol.
  3. RoseB

    RoseB Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 3, 2012
    Kids the cutest of all vermin. Have two my self, and boy do they bring on the cooties. Had some massive throat issues before I started vaping. Really just gross tonsils. Swollen and painful. It seemed like vaping dried it out. It still hurt but the swelling is gone and now the pain is gone. Not sure if it was the vapor or the lack of tobacco.
  4. Puccini914

    Puccini914 Full Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    Hi, I've got a couple AI diseases. I've got Lupus, RA, Sjogren's Syndrome, and Fibro. I don't know much about Crohn's other then the immune system attacks the intestines and causes inflammation. With mine, it attacks my joints and with both of ours it causes fatigue and general feeling like crap most of the time. Quitting analogs is the best thing we can do. I can't tell you how many times I've had Bronchitis and asthmatic bronchitis. I've been off analogs completely for 6 days now and my lungs and nose are cleaning house. Everythings coming up. I think the vaping is great! I feel a bit better already. I seem to have a bit more energy already. My plan is to gradually reduce the nicotine in my juice until I reach 5-0 nicotine. The nicotine can interfere with certain medicines, like plaquenil. Our meds will work better and it will improve our conditions greatly to get off analogs ANY way we can. Tapering off nicotine can come once we're comfortably off analogs. For now, I'm vaping like crazy at 24mg, fighting the desire to have an analog, but everytime I take a drag of my DH's, it tastes like an ashtray. Way Gross!! This will pass and I'll get to the point when I won't want one anymore. Then I can start tapering down the nicotine. It's seems so easy, but we shall see. I don't see it being harmful to anyone with AI disease and my doctor didn't have a problem with it. Good luck to you.:)
  5. RoseB

    RoseB Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 3, 2012
    Wow Puccini you hit the lotto of no fun. For years the doctors kept telling me I had fibromyalgia. It turned out to be my hyper mobile joints not feeling so hot with age. Not smoking has brought the pain levels down. My e cigarette was a godsend. Lastnight in the er the doctors let me use it, and I used the hell out of it. Smoking was a coping mechanism for me (also addiction). Instead of smoking 2-3 packs a day in a bad flare just trying to get throught the pain. With vaping I don't feel nearly as gross, but still crohn's is gross lol. For the record I did try quitting the vaping cold turkey just to see what it was like. Wasn't to bad other than my guts coming to a grinding halt. Keep plugging along after a while you'll be glad you did.
  6. Puccini914

    Puccini914 Full Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    Thanks Rose! It's the craziest thing about smoking and pain. We know that smoking (analogs) is the worst thing for our illness, but when the pain kicks in, all I want to do is sit and smoke. Thank you for e-cigs. I can vape all day and not feel worse. It's been 7 days totally off analogs, I'm flaring, but I'm sticking to vaping and all is well. I'm so sorry for your Crohns, that must be awful. I also have gastoparesis, which is some kind of paralization of the stomach, so sometime I just can't eat very much. I simpply can't imafine what you must go through. Bless you, I hope you feel better soon. :)
  7. SinisterRaccoon

    SinisterRaccoon Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 25, 2012
    Raccoon City
    Rose, I can relate to your pains. Have had UC for 10 yrs now, and its actually the reason I started smoking, for the nicotine. That first week of analogs way back when was better than any med out there. Not wanting to keep smoking, I stumbled on the alternative of vaping. While some of the improvements to daily feelings may be psychological, the world of vaping has been a nice addition to my daily regimen:) I also like the fact that some of the things that just don't agree with me in the "real" world, CAN be enjoyed by means of vape, such as coffee:)
  8. RoseB

    RoseB Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 3, 2012
    Sinister Raccooon 10 years with UC sorry you have that. It is no fun at all. I hear you on the food thing. Last month I thought it might be nice to eat popcorn.....ugh it was a stupid thing to do :blush: I read about the nicotine thing going with UC patients, and that docs give them nicotine patches sometimes. Even if the person never smoked or chewed. If you find a good popcorn juice please let me know ;)
  9. chad

    chad Re-member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 6, 2009
    NY, USA
    I've read and heard many times that nicotine is bad for Crohn's and helpful for Ulcerative Colitis. I don't have either (I have IBS which is a functional disorder unlike Crohn's and UC which are IBDs) so I can't confirm any of this. Maybe the nicotine in e-cigs is contributing to your flare-up?
    Smoking and inflammatory bowel disease: a met... [Mayo Clin Proc. 2006] - PubMed - NCBI
  10. patsfan1130

    patsfan1130 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 25, 2012
    I was diagnosed with lupus 4 years ago. I generally have 2 or 3 serious flares per year. I've been off butts for 1 week today and feel better than I have in years! I take plaquenil 2x per day as well as 2mg of medrol every other day. Ive not experienced any ill effects what so ever from vaping. And I've been vaping like a champ all week!

    Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2
  11. RoseB

    RoseB Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 3, 2012
    It could be the case. Still haven't stopped the coffee and I really haven't quit nicotine long enough to see if I am better off without it. Working on it though ;)
  12. RoseB

    RoseB Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 3, 2012
    That is great! Thank you so much for sharing that.
  13. patkin

    patkin Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Arizona USA
    My stepdaughter has fibromyalgia and its improving with vaping. She used to smoke a pack a day.
  14. myyrkezaan

    myyrkezaan Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 30, 2012
    Clayton, NC
    Curious if the vaping is giving any benefit or is it mostly from stopping smoking.

    Need to get a control group that doesn't smoke and have them vape.

    Glad to hear vaping is helping out.
  15. unlearnaddiction

    unlearnaddiction Full Member

    Dec 15, 2012
    I am an internal medicine physician and I can confirm what Chad replied earlier. It is well known by doctors that smoking make Crohn's worse and ulcerative colitis better (but PLEASE do not start smoking to treat ulcerative colitis, the risks of smoking far outweigh the benefit to the ulcerative colitis). However, what can happen is smoking suppresses your immune system and when you stop there may be a flare initially as your immune system comes back on board. But generally speaking stopping smoking should be a good thing for you overall including for your Crohn's. Studies show that heavy smokers have way more flares and need for surgery.

    As for electronic cigarettes and the chemicals in them and their effect on Crohn's, of course this has never been studied. But, from my knowledge of the chemicals in E-cigarettes these chemicals are already in real cigarettes (in addition to the nearly 600 chemcals in real cigarettes). So you are already exposed to them anyway.

    I can guarantee you that the respiratory infections will get better if you stop smoking and I really doubt the electronic cigarettes will predispose you to as many infections as the real things do

    As for other autoimmune disorders I do know that studies show that people who smoke are at increased risk of developing lupus.
  16. r77r7r

    r77r7r ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    UC guy checking in here. It's in my genes, and had my first flare last Nov- 9 months after quitting- not unusual. There are several of us at a forum I frequent that use ecigs to help treat our disease.

    Personally, my flare coincided with my cutting my nic level down, and ended when I brought it back up- but who really knows with this disease?

    I now keep my nic at 12mg, and vape 6ml aday.

    Oh, and welcome to the forums, Doctor! Good to have more on these forums. There is a private sub-forum for you and your colleagues here also.
  17. Puccini914

    Puccini914 Full Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    If you're taking Plaquenil, eventually you'll have to give up nicotine. Nicotine prevents the drug from working at it's fullest potential. I've been analog free for 22 days now and plan to cut down my nicotine until I'm vaping a 0 nic. I love vaping and will probably always vape, but the lower my nicotine the better my meds will work. I've already cut down from 24mg to 18mg. It's a start.:)
  18. RoseB

    RoseB Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 3, 2012
    Thanks for the input. I started smoking at 13 years old, and now at 32 I have stopped. Had a trip up on the chewing tobacco last night. First cold of the year. My guts are nasty right now because of the large amounts of advil I have to take just to get out of bed in the morning. Most of my winters were spent with non stop sinus infections and lung infections :) Just the reduction in general illness has made a switch worth while. Tried cold turkey more times than I can count. NRT such as patches and gum didn't really help me. Nor did a support group in which people would tell me nico-demons where going to rule my life. If I didn't quit cold turkey satan was going to burn and whip me for all eternity. All or nothing does not work for everyone. Vaping, using an e-cig,PV, or what ever you want to call it is what I am using to reduce my use of traditional tobacco products. This in (IMO) is a good thing. No longer do I chew a can of spit tobacco a day or smoke a pack or two of cigarettes a day. Good thing :vapor:
  19. RayN

    RayN Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 10, 2012
    Hi Rose,
    I have Crohn's too. I used to smoke about a pack a day, been vaping full time since March of this year.
    In my personal experience it hasn't had any effect on my Crohn's, neither worse nor better. But I do truly enjoy being smoke free and haven't had the "normal" bouts of colds, sinus infections and bronchitis I usually got.
    I hope your flare subsides soon!
  20. RoseB

    RoseB Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 3, 2012
    Are you able to do high nicotine at all? I have been having issues for so long. The doctors were thinking Crohn's, and I just tried doing supplements, cutting back on refined foods, and what not. That maybe if I ignored it, it would go away. Nope. Thank you for the reminder that flares don't last forever, just feels like they do ;)
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